29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A disquieting insight into the world of the 21st Century snake oil salesman,
This review is from: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Paperback)
I borrowed this book from a friend. At the time I was trying to find a way to run a small business whilst juggling with the uncertainties of long-term health issues. The title of the book was intriguing.
And certainly, there are some sensible ideas in this book - albeit mostly concentrated in the first few pages - on time management. Like not answering your phone and only replying to emails at designated times. Obvious? Well, not always. However one of the best suggestions was to not feel obliged to read a book all the way to the final paragraph.
With regard to Ferriss' own book, such advice seemed well placed, for long before I got anywhere near the final chapter I felt myself losing the will to live.
I also had this disquieting feeling I'd accidently strayed into the territory of some rather nasty cult, the kind that would sell its own daughters to old men in exchange for something that would provide another quick high. The basic premise seemed to be, find something - anything, ANYTHING, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING - that you can persuade (or con) large numbers of people into buying. Obviously, at the highest possible price.
Outsource everything to the third world, have various auf wiederzehn/plausible deniability strategies in place for when things go wrong, and away you go. Dead easy.
Consequences? In the snake oil salesman's world, there aren't any. Provided of course you remain appropriately out of sight (for more on this theme, read Howard Marks).
The irony seemed to be, that for all the eons of time Ferriss claims to have freed up in his own life - in order to pursue his various hedonistic but often vacuous interests, it doesn't quite ring true. He tries hard to make a convincing case but ultimately falls well short.
Instead, the picture is of a rather sad individual forever chasing that one final fix - whether it be a triad of nubile girls, the ultimate wave break or merely the acclaim he clearly thinks he deserves for being so incredibly incredibly brilliant - that will fix everything. And in this respect the growing collection of generic titles under Ferriss' authorship (most likely ghost-written by someone in Mumbai earning $6 an hour) seems little more than another means to that end, as in more snake oil.